Throughout our homeschooling, I have always had a heart for encouraging other homeschool mums on their journey. I am blessed to be able to walk with someone who is considering homeschooling, or those who are struggling and need a bit of guidance. The Lord has brought a few women into my life whom I have had the privilege of walking alongside and who I now count as friends. Some of these women I have never met in person although I look forward to the day when we hopefully will get to meet.
This post is the first of many that I hope will encourage British homeschooling mums on their home ed journey and I feel I can finally share our journey because… *BIG NEWS* our youngest daughter was offered a place at Chester University this weekend. We now have both our daughters starting university in the fall and our homeschool journey has NOT been ‘conventional’ by English standards. (Can’t believe I’m using the word ‘conventional’ and ‘homeschooling’ in the same sentence!)
We have always sought God’s direction in our homeschool, and let me tell you it did not look like the direction my fellow English homeschooling friends were taking. We kept with our Christian resources, our American resources. Both our girls sat their IGCSE English and Maths but they don’t have the raft of GCSE’s that apparently you need to get into university or even a level 3 college course.
I definitely went through many times of panic once we decided not to take the GCSE/A-Level route but I felt strongly that this was not for us and that we should stay true to God’s calling for our family. The Lord promises that if we seek first His Kingdom and righteousness that all else will be added to us (Matt 6:33) and that if we trust in Him and lean not on our own understanding He will make our paths straight (Prov 3:5-6). I clung to His promises hoping like mad that I wasn’t destroying my children’s futures.
The Lord called us to raise our children for him. We were to teach them His ways while we sat at home, walked by the way, when we lay down and got up (Deut6:7), I struggled to reconcile myself to the fact that this was our calling and then suddenly, when we reached this high school stage, I was to abandon all that and ‘fit in’ with the English educational system which was at polar opposites to our educational methods and ethos.
There were times when I was quaking I can tell you. My friend and mentor, Sonja Woods from Oikos Family Ministries in South Africa was the person I would talk to when I had ‘A Moment’. She always reminded me of Gods goodness and of His faithfulness. Her own testimony was inspirational and it is to her that I owe much for the time and encouragement she gave me. So we stayed the course.
DD1 was accepted without a problem to art college based on her transcript and art and nature journal. The interviewing tutor could see her passion and she herself believed in alternative forms of education. DD1 proved to be one of their model students and graduated with a distinction last year. She has since been accepted onto a Graphic Design and Illustration course at University and starts in the fall.
DD2 has taken the full American SAT route and today was offered a place at Chester University to study Fashion Communication and Marketing. Again, the head of the department believes in alternative forms of education.
God has gone before us and opened doors for both our girls. Neither of my girls had the proper ‘qualifications and requirements’ for their courses yet both have been given places at college and university. I can only attribute this to the following:
* That what the scriptures say is true. God will be faithful if we are faithful to trust him. He goes before us and opens doors that we don’t think can be opened because if He has a plan for our children no man and no requirement of man will stand in His way. He is the author of all things.
* Having a Plan. As a homeschool mom, you need to plot and stay your course. Choose your route and do your utmost to find out everything you can about it and execute your plan with planning and purpose. You are your child’s best advocate so don’t be afraid to be prepared to take on colleges and universities who don’t understand alternative qualifications. Personally, I found more opposition at college level than I did at university level, but stand your ground.
* Keeping excellent records. I can’t stress this enough. If you have precise records of your learning and grades each year you have all the evidence you need to prove your case of your child has received a well rounded and most excellent education.
Now that we have navigated this path with success I feel like I am able to share this alternative way with UK homeschoolers so I will be writing a series of posts on the what, how, where, etc on the SAT route in England so please do bookmark my blog if you are interested to find out more. Do drop me an email if you have any questions, I’m always happy to help if I can.
Blessings in Christ…